Public Announcements


RDA Seeks New Executive Director

River District Association

Job Description – Executive Director

The Executive Director is responsible for helping the River District Association achieve its mission of uniting, advocating, and promoting efforts to create a thriving business and residential community in Rockford’s downtown neighborhood. To do so, the Executive Director coordinates and oversees all program activities and events that continually promote quality civic, commercial, and cultural development of the central business district. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will be responsible for implementing the goals and objectives of the River District Association, achieving key membership goals, engaging sponsors, and building solid partnerships/relationships within the downtown community, City of Rockford, and region.

This is a part-time position with the expectation of working part-time at 25 hours per week. The Executive Director will be principally accountable to the President & CEO of the Board of Directors and secondly to its Leadership Council.


  • Be an advocate for Downtown Rockford and serve as a spokesperson for the interests of the River District Association.

  • Execute the strategic plan at the direction of the Board.

  • Raise funds for long-term sustainability of the organization and its series of events to include grant writing in certain instances.

  • Represent the River District Association in promoting public awareness and education about downtown’s assets and foster collaboration with other related public and private organizations.

  • Work with developers and property owners to serve as a liaison for potential retail, office and residential tenants to fill vacant spaces; promote real estate development opportunities.

  • Maintain an accurate membership database to manage overall development efforts to retain existing members and cultivate new memberships under set goals.

  • Cultivate and retain memberships with current and potential corporate, foundation, and individual donors for River District Association sponsored events for ongoing sustainability.

  • Execute the marketing and public relations strategy to champion the River District Association via local and regional media sources. This includes the promotion of downtown dining and retail establishments.

  • Help coordinate joint promotional events to improve the quality and success of events and attract people to downtown.

  • Work independently to develop a personal work plan and be accountable for job initiatives within a limited time and provide activity reports for each pay period.

  • Attend River District Association Board meetings, generally the second Thursday of each month at noon at the RACVB office downtown, and other meetings as necessary.

  • Maintain content on the River District Association website and social networks when needed.

  • Provide regular communication to River District Association members and constituents.

  • Other duties as assigned by the Board within the scope of their responsibilities.


  • Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent experience.

  • Education and/or experience in one or more of the following areas: business administration, public administration, retail, volunteer or nonprofit administration, architecture, historic preservation, economic development, public relations, planning and/or small business development.


  • Proven management and leadership capabilities; not afraid of social settings or networking.

  • Understanding of urban issues, assets and challenges, including urban real estate development, planning, downtown development and historic preservation.

  • Proven track record of achieving business development targets.

  • Experience working with various media outlets and sources.

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and thorough understanding of strategic development.

  • Demonstrated ability to prospect, cultivate, and manage a membership group and professional relationships.

  • Strong partnership-building skills.

  • Experience in event management.

  • Be well organized, energetic, entrepreneurial, and be able to work well with a diverse group.

    Please email a cover letter, resume and date of availability to no later than February 27, 2018.



NEWS RELEASE: River District Association Executive Director Announces Departure

For Immediate Release
February 6, 2018                 

Contact:  Leah Tuneberg                                 



Leah Tuneberg to remain on staff through February to oversee smooth transition

ROCKFORD, Illinois – The River District Association announced today that Leah Tuneberg has officially resigned from her nearly three year post as Executive Director effective February 28, 2018. In her resignation to the River District Association Board of Directors, Tuneberg explained she will be stepping down to shift her focus to spending more time with her family.

“It has been my pleasure to serve in this role,” said Tuneberg. “I look forward to remaining involved with the River District Association in other ways.”

Tuneberg has been the Executive Director since March 30, 2015. In that time she has spearheaded such events as the Shop the Blocks series, historic walking and bike tours and Picnic en Plein Air to drive traffic downtown, introducing visitors to the major revitalization occurring during her tenure and giving them a reason to come visit again. Most notably Tuneberg worked hard to establish meaningful relationships and partnerships with key identified organizations to gain influence and authority for the betterment of the River District community. 

“The River District is becoming more vibrant and energetic,” said Tuneberg. “As a team we’ve worked hard to build momentum and a solid forward moving direction to grow downtown into a successful urban center that will uplift Rockford and our region.”

River District Association Interim Board President Chris Kelley said Tunberg’s commitment to the nonprofit has been instrumental in its successful revival.

“Leah put so much passion into her job,” said Kelley. “It was evident in meetings, at events and at the countless number of business meetings she held on behalf of our organization. We are so thankful to have had her for as long as we did, but we respect how important family is and applaud her for making this decision and setting us up for a successful future.”

The River District Association is looking for the right person to keep up the momentum. The Board of Directors will vote on the Executive Director job listing at its next regularly scheduled meeting this Thursday. They will also vote to reinstate board members, assess the need for new members and vote on a new Leadership Council at that meeting.

The River District Association (RDA) is a private, 501(c)3 not-for-profit, membership-based organization and is supported through membership dues, donations, sponsorships, grants, and fundraisers. The mission is to establish nurturing meaningful relationships to gain influence and authority for the betterment of the River District community.




RACVB’s Forest City Beautiful Keeps on Growing

RACVB’s Forest City Beautiful Keeps on Growing
Community Foundation of Northern Illinois awards grant to project aimed at beautifying downtown Rockford


January 9, 2016

 ROCKFORD, IL — The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, in partnership with the River District Association, is proud to announce that they have received a $43,459 grant for the Forest City Beautiful initiative. These funds will go towards the installation of trash receptacles throughout the River District in downtown Rockford to help reduce litter.The grant was awarded by the Dr. Louis and Violet Rubin Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ Sustainable Communities Grants Program.

Forest City Beautiful is a multi-year urban greening program focused on beautifying and revitalizing downtown Rockford, with the goal of improving the quality within the city center. As part of the initiative, RACVB has the responsibility to collaborate with local leaders to plan, install and maintain landscaping throughout downtown. This will be the fourth grant approved for Forest City Beautiful, bringing the total amount awarded to $152,076.

“We see the Forest City Beautiful project as a vital way to revitalize the community through enhancing the physical appearance of the downtown,” Jon Bates, President of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, said. “We are encouraged by the success of the project so far and by the commitment made by the RACVB and Rockford Sharefest.”

This initiative has already made many improvements to downtown Rockford with the installation of 75 planters, 9 public art sculptures and directional way-finding signage. Volunteers have served to help install plantings in existing flower beds, clean up walkways and sidewalks and paint light poles, among other tasks to clean several civic spaces. There will also be 5 bistro tables, 13 chairs, 5 benches and trash receptacles placed throughout downtown this spring.

“We are grateful to the Community Foundation and their funders for their continued and deep investment in our region through several organizations. It’s a privilege to work alongside many local partners, volunteers and business owners that think about the big picture and find more ways to improve and sustain downtown Rockford,” said Tana Vettore, director of destination development for the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “A significant amount of progress is made each year to create cleaner and safer gathering spaces that Rockford region residents and visitors continue to use daily.”

About the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois:

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has been a regional leader in philanthropy since 1953. CFNIL serves as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, grow, and preserve an endowment for the needs of Northern Illinois. Since its founding, CFNIL has granted more than $60 million for charitable purposes.

The mission of the RACVB is to drive quality of life and economic growth for our citizens through tourism marketing and destination development.

The mission of the River District Association is to promote a growing, thriving, prosperous business and residential community in Rockford’s downtown neighborhoods.

Forest City Beautiful is supported by the generous donations of individuals and organizations in the community. Those interested in donating to the initiative can get more information at or by calling Tana Vettore at 815.963.8111.


Andrea Mandala, Marketing & Communications Manager: 815.489.1664 or